In her simple but sophisticated artworks, Hildigunnur Birgisdóttir (*1980, Reykjavik, IS) simultaneously explores notions of complex scientific systems and the way that children interpret the world around them. Untitled for Carl von Linné is exemplary of her approach. The artwork was created in collaboration with a group of three- to five-year-olds who were asked to arrange found objects using a system that they themselves devised. Categories emerge accordingly, based on the objects’ geometry, colour and level of opacity or transparency. The work can be seen as an exploration of the way children use categories to define their environment.
This playful approach to categorisation and the creation of systems to interpret the world around us could be compared and contrasted with the "Systema Naturae" developed by the renowned eighteenth-century naturalist Carl von Linné mentioned in the work’s title. Birgisdóttir plays with the tensions between abstract systems of knowledge and the physical limitations of our own systems of perception. Her work celebrates a creative way of perceiving the world around us, free of the limitations of systems rooted in our everyday life.